Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Grayling warns not enough is being done to tackle anti-social behaviour

Chris Grayling has proposed giving police the power to confiscate troublemaker's mobile phones and other items in an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour head on.

The Shadow Home Secretary warned that Labour had failed to get grips with this deep-rooted problem, and stressed their strategy was "purely based on grabbing headlines".

He explained that dealing with anti-social behaviour isn't simply a law and order challenge; it goes right to the heart of the Conservative plan to fix our Broken Society:

"It's about trying to rebuild the family, about trying to recreate a sense of responsibility inside and outside the home, about trying to create pride in communities and not alienation from them. All of that will lie at the heart of what we seek to do in Government."

Chris made clear, though, that more needs to be done to tackle anti-social behaviour at the sharp end - and he set out a number of policy proposals to deter young troublemakers:

  • Grounding orders, which would allow police and the authorities to ground troublemakers for up to a month (except to go to school)
  • Simple community punishments, like picking up litter
  • Giving police the power to temporarily confiscate mobile phones or other items, like bikes, for a fortnight or a month

Chris stressed, "If we're to deter potential troublemakers, the consequences they face have to be relevant to the lives they lead, and to be immediate. Otherwise why would they stop doing what they were doing?"


  1. There's a pretty robust response from Frances Crook of the Howard League who suggests its just headline grabbing.

    It reminds me of New Labour!

  2. It is quite a good comment. I thought the obvious problem with Grayling's comment is that if we start confiscating thugs' mobile phones, the example will be paid forward. In my view it would dash any efforts that have been made to tackle mobile phone theft and street crime (if it can be seriously argued that any real progress has been made in this area at all!) by creating further demand.

  3. It does sound like a New Labour policy doesn't it? Inadequately reasoned, hot air with little prospect of ever being put into practice. It doesn't look like we're going to get much change when we finally get an election does it?


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